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Award Redo: 1988 N.L. MVP

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Hey look a reader request, Culloden Hastings writes:


1988 NL MVP-I can't believe Gibson was the most deserving choice.


Hey take away something from Kirk Gibson? No complaints from me.


Gibson winning the MVP in 1988 always seemed like an odd choice. It always appeared on the surface just to be your typical writer vote where the guy who is SCRAPPY~ or TOUGH~ or a LEADER~ gets more support than he deserves. Gibson's Dodgers have been romanticized by the L.A. media to the point that you'd think they were some dynasty rather than the complete fluke they actually were. It's likely Bill Plaschke pleasures himself every night to Game 1 of the '88 World Series.


Without looking that closely into it before I figured Will Clark or Darryl Strawberry should have won the award. Strawberry finished 2nd in the voting but split some votes with his 3rd place teammate Kevin McReynolds who had quite the good season himself. Clark finished 5th without any first place votes as the Giants hovered just above .500. Also someone of possible consideration was Gibson's teammate Orel Hershiser who went on a record scoreless inning streak at the end of the season.


So was Gibson a bad pick? Is there anyway it couldn't have been Clark or Strawberry? Will I discover time travel and kill Gibson and Hershisher before the '88 World Series?


Actual Results


1) Kirk Gibson 2) Darryl Strawberry 3) Kevin McReynolds 4) Andy Van Slyke 5) Will Clark 6) Orel Hershiser 7) Andres Galarraga 8) Glenn Davis 9) Danny Jackson 10) David Cone 11) Tony Gwynn 12) John Franco 13) Eric Davis 14) Bobby Bonilla 15) Andre Dawson 16) Randy Myers 17) Brett Butler 18) Steve Sax



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.273/.363/.489, 83 RC, 139 OPS+, .314 EQA, 48.9 VORP, 27 Win Shares



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.296/.347/.429, 86 RC, 119 OPS+, .294 EQA, 55.7 VORP, 28 Win Shares



IPB Image

.274/.366/.476, 102 RC, 142 OPS+, .310 EQA, 50.5 VORP, 31 Win Shares



IPB Image

.302/.352/.540, 113 RC, 149 OPS+, .314 EQA, 58.7 VORP, 25 Win Shares



IPB Image

.288/.336/.496, 91 RC, 142 OPS+, .312 EQA, 48.3 VORP, 31 Win Shares



IPB Image

.288/.345/.506, 104 RC, 143 OPS+, .312 EQA, 56.6 VORP, 28 Win Shares



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148 ERA+, 2.44 K/BB, 1.05 WHIP, 64.8 VORP, 25 Win Shares



IPB Image

.269/.366/.545, 109 RC, 165 OPS+, .327 EQA, 54.4 VORP, 30 Win Shares



IPB Image

.290/.377/.483, 98 RC, 149 OPS+, .324 EQA, 56.4 VORP, 31 Win Shares



IPB Image

.282/.386/.508, 113 RC, 160 OPS+, .332 EQA, 63.1 VORP, 37 Win Shares


As much as it pains me Gibson wasn't a bad choice for MVP although Clark would have been a much, much better pick. So the biggest mistake by the writers wasn't Gibson winning but the lack of support for Clark. Maybe it had to do that the guy was a dick to the media or because his middle name was Nuschler...NUSCHLER! Is that even a name?

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What happened that year, that the offensive numbers were down so much?


Also Bored. Did Kirby Puckett have a reasonable argument for AL MVP that year. No need for a full break down.

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'88 was definently not a good year for offense but we were still several years away from the offensive explosion. N.L. teams averaged 3.88 runs/game in 1988 and then averaged that same number again 1992.


Puckett had an MVP calibar season but it's hard to aruge anyone over Canseco that year.

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